The Heroes, having sworn to help King Rydiger find his missing son and having been introduced to Primrose, split up to explore the castle and find out what information they can. Adar and Hadrian decide to see what secrets Mabruk the Magnificent held in his tower. Finding it magically locked they burned through the door’s defenses with their own arcane might and trudged their way up the dark, sinister stairs. Meanwhile, Melwyn asked Primrose about the prince and what might have occurred. Primrose was somewhat cagey with the strange little man but eventually divulged the prince’s obsession with his Uncle who, along with a group of knights, sallied forth from Castle Perilous to see what secrets were held under Mount Peril and were never seen again.
Akra Darr went off to the library and poured over the maps of the land, trying to find the path that led them here but to no avail. What she did discover was the layout of the kingdom and of the whole discovered world which only reinforced the strange, stylized quality of this land. One thing that drew her attention was the political curiousity that was the Consortium. Her further research showed to her how they had maintained neutrality with the denizens of Castle Perilous since they were both founded centuries ago but how they came to prominence relatively recently with the discovery of Mithryl which they mined to great success.
Caelon had been traipsing through the forest, communing with the oddly comforting surroundings when the white raven flew towards him. While it stayed silent, it responded to Caelon’s questions with seeming knowledge and certainty and seemed to be directing his attention towards the volcano.
Meanwhile, in Mabruk the Magnificent’s tower, Hadrian and Adar had discovered the cold dark lab where the thing must have worked. The remnants of evil looking experiments were left behind, the sole living occupant a giant black spider which Hadrian took immediate fright of. They came across Mabruk the Magnificent’s notes and after casting a spell to decipher them, discovered the history of Mizzlegraxt. It seemed to be an ancient dark elven city which, at its inception, made a diabolical pact with the mysterious Kraxnanymos before flourishing over the many centuries into a dark and twisted metropolis. It had two colonies, Svaldatak and Wexl which were based around the mining of precious metals and minerals and the increased wealth only made them more powerful and decadent. All this ended when they finally broke through the surface to the sunlit lands and fell to civil war and strife, ending when Mount Peril erupted. Mabruk the Magnificent spoke of how they would return and how it was somehow tied to this entity Kraxnanymos. He also spoke of the strange religion of his people, devoted as they were to a terrible pale, arachnid goddess known as Lloth. The writings descended into madness and aside from one cryptic remark about the prince “looking for his own doom” there was no light shed on his disappearance. Hadrian even cast a spell of seeing to discern hidden doors or portals but to no avail and, grabbing the caged spider, they sought out their comrades in the library.
Everyone had come together to the library to pool what they had found but as soon as Hadrian stepped in, his eyes which were still under their ensorcellment detected a hidden door in this very room. As they went to examine it, the door swung open and he and Primrose went in to see where it led while Adar and Akra Darr noticed the librarian acting very suspiciously. They questioned her as the others came to the end of the tunnel and all discovered that it led to the prince’s chambers and that she had known about it. The prince had some interest in the library and on discovering this passage existence, had used it for secret research. The tunnel also led to an exit outside the castle walls. The heroes realized it would easily have allowed the prince to slip out undetected or to possibly allow someone in.
Armed with knowledge of this strange land and determined to solve the mystery, Primrose revealed that the Uncle and his men had secured passage below with the aid of the Consortium and with a sense of trepidation, the heroes decided they must do likewise.